Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lord's Turns Red to Celebrate the Life of Ruth Strauss

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lord's Turns Red to Celebrate the Life of Ruth Strauss

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Macpherson Cricket Correspondent

EVEN before Ruth Strauss died aged 46 in December, the seeds of the celebration of her life that takes place tomorrow, when Lord's will be painted red, had been sown.

Ruth, the Australian wife of former England captain Andrew, was known for lighting up every room she stepped into but had spent more than a year fighting a rare form of lung cancer.

In her final weeks, she and Andrew had spoken about how they could help others suffering -- both in terms of providing greater understanding of the illness through research and pre-bereavement support for families in a similar position.

A month after she died, Strauss was getting to work setting up the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which, along with supporting his sons Sam (13) and Luca (11), has become the focus of so much of his abundant energy. He is working closely with Cancer Research UK and Maggie's Centres.

Tomorrow will be the Foundation's first big day. Fans coming to Lord's have been encouraged to wear red -- Ruth's favourite colour -- and the teams will wear special shirts with red names and numbers, while caps will be presented to Andrew and his two sons in the morning.

There is an online auction with some fine lots, not least Eoin Morgan's signed match shirt from the World Cup final. That win was the culmination of a project Strauss started in 2015 as England's director of cricket, before stepping down last summer to be by Ruth's side. The blueprint of the day is clear: Australia's Jane McGrath Day. Jane, the English wife of the great fast bowler Glenn, died of breast cancer in 2008 -- and the third day of the Sydney Test has been turned "pink" for 11 summers now, raising millions of dollars.

"What has amazed me throughout the whole process is how willing the MCC, the ECB and the whole cricket family had been to make it happen," says Strauss. …

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